|Pittsburgh would love to keep top wideout Wallace. (Getty Images)|
INDIANAPOLIS -- Kevin Colbert, as GM of the Steelers, is in a precarious position. Pittsburgh has little-to-no cap room and one of their top offensive players, wide receiver Mike Wallace, is a restricted free agent who's been viewed as a candidate for offer sheets from various AFC rivals.
|2012 scouting combine coverage|
|Draft prospect rankings|
|Latest mock drafts|
Colbert emphasized on Thursday at the NFL combine that the Steelers, despite rumors to the contrary, are still very much open to using the franchise tag on Wallace, even though it would tack on another $9.4 million to their salary cap.
"We won't know until we know what we're dealing with as far as cap space. So we have to leave that option open, absolutely," Colbert said. "The thing I can say for sure about Mike is that we want Mike to finish his career with the Steelers and we're confident that Mike wants to finish his career here and play with a great quarterback like Ben Roethlisberger and have the receivers we have to compliment him.
"We think he's only scratched the surface in what he can do. There's a lot left there that still can be developed and we're anxious to see it happen as a Steeler."
The Steelers are being hurt by changes to restricted free agent (RFA) rules in the new CBA; teams only have to surrender a first-round pick in exchange for Wallace if the Steelers decline to match any offer from someone else.
"The compensation is what it is," Colbert said. "We have to live within the rules and make the best decisions we can."
Cap space is the bigger issue, though. Even if the Steelers can get under the cap through cutting players and restructuring contracts, they'd still need to wiggle out another $10 million in order to easily bring Wallace back in 2012.
For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, Like Us on Facebook, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're add it, add our RSS Feed.